January 21, 2020
A taxi driver from Nottingham recently has his cab taken off the road with immediate effect by Community Protection Officers. They found that his taxi had two tyres which measured below the legal tread depth. One of them was so badly worn that the inner cords were visible!
All drivers must ensure that their tyres are safe for use, especially cabbies who have their vehicles on the road so often and for long periods. With this in mind, we have gathered together some helpful information about checking your tyres.
Legal tyre tread depth
According to UK and EU law, the legal tread is 1.6mm for car tyres. This must measure 1.6mm across the whole tyre.
Recommended minimum tyre tread depth?
Experts believe that the legal tread of 1.6mm isn’t safe and recommend that your tyres should measure a minimum of 3mm.
Tyres below 3mm can dramatically affect the stopping distance – even more so when it’s wet. The increase in distance during wet conditions is up to 44%!
Illegal or worn tyres are particularly dangerous when it’s raining because tread in a tyre helps to shift the water away from the area between the road and the tyre.
Checking your tyres
There’s a quick and easy way to check your tyre tread. Take a 20p coin and insert it into the tyre groove. If you cannot see the outer band of the coin your tyres are safe and legal. However, if the outer band is still visible, your tyres might not be legal, and you should get them checked by a professional.
It’s recommended to do this test regularly when you are a taxi driver – at least every 1-2 weeks.
Check your tyre pressure
It’s also worth checking your tyre pressure regularly – weekly is recommended. Use a pressure gauge to check your tyre pressure – this will be measured in bar (metric) or pounds per inch (PSI) which is the imperial measurement. Most taxis should have a sticker on the bodywork that tells you the correct tyre pressure for the vehicle. However, if you have an older cab, you may need to refer to your handbook.
From a legal standpoint, driving with dangerous or defective tyres also puts drivers at risk of a fine of up to £2,500 and three points on their license.
Keep yourself and your passengers safe on the roads – be sure to monitor your tyres as part of your regular vehicle safety checks.